• Hearn will press for judicial review but expects to be defeated
• Suspects West Ham made sole tenancy a condition of their bid
The Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn has said that he will look to move the club into Essex if he fails in his legal bid to force West Ham to share the Olympic Stadium, for fear that the club would be "crushed" by their new neighbours.
In the latest twist to the tortuous process of finalising the future of the Olympic Stadium, Hearn said that he was confident of winning a judicial review of the decision to make West Ham the main tenant but admitted his legal fight was likely to be ultimately futile.
Again criticising the drawn out decision-making process and lack of foresight in failing to design a stadium suitable for both athletics and football, Hearn admitted that even if he won a judicial review the likelihood was the London Legacy Development Corporation would find a way to finalise a deal with West Ham.
He said he suspected that West Ham had made sole tenancy a condition of their bid, despite the original conditions saying that all parties must consider the possibility of "teaming", because they wanted to make the stadium their own and attract foreign investment.
"The whole of the Olympic saga has been dreadfully mismanaged from inception to where we are today," he told a Sports Industry Breakfast Club meeting in London.
"Eventually I will get beaten. They may go through the motions. I think I will win the judicial review but then, when we sit down, all they do is change the goalposts to get round it on a technicality. I am conditioning myself to think that money speaks and if that's the case, we can't win."
He said there was no point staying at Brisbane Road if West Ham were allowed to move into the 60,000-capacity stadium in 2016-17 after a conversion programme that coud cost up to £200m. The East End club have promised to fill the stadium at affordable prices if they are allowed to move in.
"If I stay, I get crushed. And I am not prepared to see a club that is 130 years old, that reaches more kids than another other in the country through the community schemes, get crushed," he said.
If West Ham move into the Olympic Stadium he said he would sell Brisbane Road and consider new sites for the club: "I don't know where. Harlow has been mooted, Romford has been mooted, off the A13 down by the docks, Barking way."
The decision-making process had been "flawed from day one", said Hearn. "They keep getting it wrong. All I'm asking for is whether our little club can share with West Ham, as they do on the continent. But they don't want to share. They want the stadium to be there," he said.
If, against the odds, Orient were able to share the stadium with West Ham, he said that he would offer free tickets to under-18s, OAPs and service men and women. "We're not in football for money, we're in it for community spirit. Politicians pay lip service to community, but they can't even spell it let alone know what it means."
The London Legacy Development Corporation has made West Ham its preferred bidder and a deal is expected to be concluded this week, though it will have to be subject to Hearn's judicial review. The club will have access to the stadium for their home games, which will also host pop concerts, 20 days of athletics, and be available for community use.
The £160m to £200m cost of converting the £429m stadium will be met largely from the public purse, including a £40m loan from Newham Council.
Hearn admitted that there was a large degree of cynicism among some Leyton Orient fans over his motives in selling Brisbane Road but said he had the club's best interests at heart.
"Of course there is. Fans are made to be cynical. I do own the ground, but every penny of profit goes into the club. I've been here 19 years, we've made a profit once in that time and I'm sticking in money right, left and centre to keep the club going. What else do I have to do to prove that I'm genuine?"